In the beginning of the semester, I didn't know anything about art criticism. Evaluating other peoples work based off of my limited knowledge was very difficult, especially since I didn't know what to pay attention to or comment on. Criticising my own work was even more difficult, because I didn't know how to improve and I thought that the first way I had done something was the only way I could do it. In one of my very first peices of art, I drew dumbo with butterfly wings instead of ears, but the work was poorly blended and different parts of the elefant would blen together. For example, it's difficult to distinguish between his trunk and the rest of his body. So, criticising art was a very uncomfortable and difficult thing for me to do.
Throughout this class criticism began to make more sense to me. I started to look at individual elements of a work instead of the thing as a whole. For example, I began to look at the material used to make the peice and asked myself if I used the material correctly, and if I could use some other medium to add to the picture. Criticism helps me make important decisions when I'm making art, for example, I began to make small differences to my art, like the size of my paper, or the color selection I would use. I used criticism to make certain parts of my art a different color in order for them to be noticed by the viewer. For example, in the "Artists take a stand" unit, I make the text of the map a brightly colored background, while the rest of the world was black in order to add contrast and make the text stand out. In the beginning of the class, I wouldn't have thought to add that color to the text or to use water color to blend the colors smoothly to create a rainbow effect like I did when I made this piece.
In Art 1, I learned many useful things, but a few are more important than the rest. For example, I've learned how to use various materials to make one piece of art, which is something that may seem simple, but before this class the idea of a multimedia piece never occurred to me. In this certain work I used water color, oil pastels, sharpie, and colored pencil to make each individual person, which is something I wouldn't have thought of doing before.
I also learned how important color choices were and how they would add to the mood or feeling a piece creates, and how symbolising affects a piece. For example, in my visual journal I used a red flower to symbolise the love mentioned in the quote, and the orange and yellow colors to create a happy mood. Another thing I learned would be juxtaposition, which is shown by the closeness of the fully grown flower next to the flower beginning to blossom which symbolises growth in life.
Another example of something I learned would be new techniques of doing things. For example, I learned different ways to use water color.
The most useful thing I learned in this class was how to blend 5 different colors to make others. I used to know very little about how you could creat different colors, but now I'm aware of the fact that you can make a wide variety of colors simply by blending black, white, yellow, blue, and red, like I did in the activity below.
In order to make this class a better learning experience, I would look at more examples of modern art that seems interesting but not that difficult. Modern art examples make coming up with ideas much easier, which helps out a lot seeing as it can be pretty difficult to come up with ideas sometimes and you might need just a little inspiration in order to create the best piece you possibly could. I would also change the criticism by peers. Since many of us don't know how to criticise properly, we would write down generic things that wouldn't really help the artist improve. I also think that more criticism on the flaws of your piece would help instead of only comments on the good, because if nobody ever tells you what you could improve on, how would you ever know what to change? Other than that, I enjoyed the freedom of choice in this class the most, since it creates individuality instead of a classroom of identical pieces.